the lockout

Now you can use an actual, physical USB key to log in to Gmail

Introducing: Security Key

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GOOGLE TODAY ADDED a new tool in its fight against hackers and phishers – Security Key.

It’s a physical USB key that you can order online, and which adds an extra layer of verification in signing in to your Gmail and Google accounts.

Here’s how it works, according to a blog post by the company today:

Security Key is a physical USB second factor that only works after verifying the login site is truly a Google website, not a fake site pretending to be Google.
Rather than typing a code, just insert Security Key into your computer’s USB port and tap it when prompted in Chrome.

security key Google Online Security Google Online Security

Two-step verification (where a code is sent to your mobile phone) is an important security layer, but users have complained that it’s time-consuming and inconvenient at times.

“Security Key” avoids the need for a text message, but has some requirements of its own.

First of all, you’ll have to buy a security key.

According to Google, you can use any key that complies with the standard called “FIDO Universal 2nd Factor (U2F).”

It should have this logo:

fido FIDO Alliance FIDO Alliance

You can order one online here, starting from around €6.

Secondly, you’ll need to be using the Google Chrome browser, version 38 or newer, on one of the following operating systems: Chrome OS, Windows, Mac OS, or Linux.

Read: Worried your online accounts are under threat? Here’s how you can keep them safe>

Why you should be using two-step verification for all your accounts>

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